RAJSHAHI: Around 1.7 lakh tonnes of pulses like lentil, black gram, grass-pea, chickpea, pea (motorshuti), winter mug-bean and pigeon-pea are expected to be produced from 1.31 lakh hectares of land in all eight districts under Rajshahi division during the current season.
Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) has set the target of producing 95,527 tonnes of pulses from 74,145 hectares of land in four districts of Rajshahi Agricultural Zone, while 74,703 tonnes from 56,761 hectares of land in four other districts of Bogura Agricultural Zone.Among the pulses, the target of producing 77,753 tonnes of lentil was set from 55,236 hectares of land, 3,187 tonnes of chickpea from 2,443 hectares of land, 43,057 tonnes of black gram from 39,501 hectares, 39,266 tonnes of grass-pea from 29,545 hectares, 6,715 tonnes of peas from 3,956 hectares, 102 tonnes of pigeon pea from 87 hectares and 252 tonnes of winter mug-bean from 225 hectares of land, reports BSS.
Shamsul Haque, Deputy Director of DAE, said, “We have already adopted all possible measures to meet the existing demand of pulses through attaining the production target.”
He said the growers here are showing more interest in lentil cultivation as it does not take much irrigation cost. Besides, they got abundant production in the last few years.
“We are cultivating lentil to avoid hassle in getting irrigation water for paddy as it needs less irrigation water to produce lentil,” said Mozammel Haque, a farmer of Kharchaka village under Paba Upazila, adding that acreage of lentil is increasing day by day.
Haque said he has cultivated lentils on three-bighas of land this year without spending extra money for irrigation.
A farmer can get four to five maunds of lentil from per bigha of land. One maund of lentil is now being sold from Tk 4,000 to 4,300 in local markets, he said.Prospect of boosting both acreage and yield of different varieties of pulses in the region, including its vast Barind tract is seen bright as suitable topography and climate condition prevails.
To materialize the existing prospects, more need-oriented measures should be adopted to boost the farmers level pulse yield to meet the domestic requirement.
Agriculturist Abu Muhammad Musha revealed that the region is a unique site for expansion of pulse farming particularly the black grams, chickpea, pea and lentil.
He said the pulse especially lentil is the vital source of calcium, iron and vitamin-B and C and it plays a crucial role to build human body.
Emphasis should be given on habituating the farmers with the modern cultivation method along with using quality seed through establishing projection plots of improved technologies for enhancing pulse output.
More than 1,500 volunteers are encouraging and inspiring farmers to cultivate the less water consuming crops through water resource management on behalf of the ‘Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM)’ Project.
DASCOH Foundation has been implementing the IWRM project in 1,280 drought-hit villages of 39 Union Parishad and three municipalities in eight upazilas of Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj districts with financial support of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation since 2015.